A few weeks ago when we picked up Sophia from preschool, we were sent home with a flyer for a father daughter dance in the parish hall. Though it sounded absolutely precious, we chose not to tell Sophia about it because the cost was $30. It's really not much, but for us right now, $30 is a lot. We knew she would have another opportunity for the dance next year in kindergarten, so we didn't feel too guilty about it.
Then she came home from school on Friday and told us that one of her friends was having a father daughter dance. She was so excited! I don't think she quite understood what it meant. She then asked her dad if they could have a father daughter dance too. We told her we would have a dance after dinner that night and her sweet little face lit up. The entire afternoon she talked of how excited she was for the dance.
We did our usual circus act of cooking dinner, entertaining the baby, eating, and sort of cleaning the kitchen. Then Sophia came from around the corner and told James she was going upstairs to choose a fancy dress and she asked him to go in his room, close the door, and choose pants, a fancy shirt, and a fancy tie.
Sophia and I headed upstairs. She carefully looked through her closet for the perfect dress. When she found it, she turned to me, once again with her face lit up, and she said, "this one!"I carefully helped her button it as she put on her shiny silver ballet slippers. We headed into the bathroom to comb her long locks into an elegant bun suited for a princess. Then we heard a knock on the door.
Sophia opened the door and her dad presented her with a bouquet of [fake] flowers.
We headed downstairs where they danced sweetly through two songs. My heart ached in my chest as I watched the way she looked at James. The same way that I probably look at him. I was reminded that he is not only my prince charming, he's hers too. She will grow and watch him. She will watch the way that he loves me. She will watch the way that he treats the women in his life. He will teach her what love looks like. He will teach her her self worth in a way that I cannot. When he tells her she is beautiful, I pray that she believes him. I pray that through her father she can come to know the love of a heavenly father whose love is perfect and unstained. I pray that she will observe and learn what she is worthy of. That she will come to understand self giving love. And when the time comes for her to meet the man she will marry, I pray that through the example of her father, she won't settle for less than she deserves.